Competition is often heralded as a motivating force that drives innovation. But taken to the extreme, competition can be a barrier to success.
That's the philosophy of Peter Thiel, the billionaire entrepreneur and investor who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies. He made a very early investment in Facebook and now is a partner in the leading venture capital firm, Founders Fund.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Thiel went to Stanford for his bachelor's and law degree.
"When you're very competitive, you get good at the thing you're competing with people on. But it comes at the expense of losing out on many other things," Thiel says. "If you're a competitive chess player, you might get very good at chess but neglect to develop other things because you're focused on beating your competitors, rather than on doing something that's important or valuable."